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Olga Dembinska, Luz Marina Rojas, Daya R. Varma, Sylvain Chemtob, Pierre Lachapelle; Graded Contribution of Retinal Maturation to the Development of Oxygen-Induced Retinopathy in Rats. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2001;42(5):1111-1118.
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purpose. Newborn rats exposed to hyperoxia during the first days of life have
been shown to exhibit not only vasculopathy but also permanent changes
in the structure and function of the retina. Given that the rat retina
is immature at birth and that the maturation process continues until
the opening of the eyes at 14 days of life, this study was conducted to
investigate the susceptibility of the retina to oxygen toxicity as a
function of the degree of retinal maturity reached at the time of
methods. Newborn rats were exposed to hyperoxia during selected postnatal day
intervals. Scotopic electroretinograms were recorded at 30 and 60 days
of age, and retinal histology was obtained at the end of the study.
results. There was a strong correlation between the duration of the hyperoxic
event and the structural and functional consequences in the retina.
However, the repercussions were significantly more profound when the
exposure to oxygen occurred within the second week of life (6–14
days), compared with earlier (0–6 days) or later periods (14–28
conclusions. The results strongly suggest that the structural and functional retinal
changes secondary to postnatal hyperoxia are not only the direct
consequence of exposure to high levels of oxygen (i.e., free radicals),
but also are determined by the level of retinal maturity reached at the
time of oxygen exposure. The results also indicate that the structural
anomalies precede the functional impairments.
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